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Tesla Model 3 and Model Y: A Comprehensive Comparison and Malaysian Launch

The electric vehicle market has been revolutionized by Tesla's futuristic offerings, and the year 2023 has witnessed the release of the highly anticipated Tesla Model 3 and Model Y. These two EVs, though sharing a semblance, present distinct features that cater to varied preferences. If you're grappling with the dilemma of choosing between the sleek Model 3 and the versatile Model Y, fret not—this comprehensive comparison is tailored for you. We delve into the specifications, dimensions, performance metrics, and recently unveiled pricing in the Malaysian market, empowering you to make an informed decision that aligns with your driving needs.

Dimensions and Capacities

While the visual similarities between the Model 3 and Model Y are undeniable, their dimensions and capacities offer nuanced distinctions. The Model Y, classified as a compact SUV, is slightly larger than the Model 3 sedan. The Model Y spans 187.0 inches in length, a mere couple of inches ahead of the Model 3's 184.8 inches. A closer look reveals that the wheelbase discrepancy is just 0.6 inches, with the Model Y boasting a 113.8-inch span. Additionally, the Model Y is wider by 1.6 inches and boasts 1.3 inches of extra ground clearance.

Tesla model 3 vs model Y comparison side size

Tesla model 3 vs model Y comparison front size

Tesla model 3 vs model Y comparison back size

Interior dimensions reflect the Model Y's SUV nature, with favorable headroom in both front and rear sections. Nevertheless, the Model 3 surprises by offering 0.9-inch more front legroom than the Model Y. Rear hip room is another area where the sedan excels, presenting an additional 1.8 inches. The Model Y gains prominence in rear legroom, providing 40.5 inches, compared to the Model 3's 35.2 inches.

The divergence amplifies when evaluating cargo space. The Model 3 provides 22.9 cubic feet of cargo capacity for five passengers, trailing behind the Model Y's 34.3 cubic feet. However, accommodating seven individuals in the Model Y reduces cargo space to 17 cubic feet, whereas the Model 3 doesn't accommodate seven adults.

Horsepower and Performance

Unearthing Tesla's horsepower figures involves some detective work due to the company's penchant for performance metrics over traditional horsepower and torque values. Recent EPA filings provide insights: the Model 3 RWD wields 257 horsepower, while the Model 3 Long Range and Performance models offer 393 and 430 horsepower, respectively. On the Model Y front, both the base and Long Range versions pack 390 horsepower, with the Performance variant reaching 418 horsepower.

Tesla model 3 vs model Y Performance comparison

Acceleration, Top Speed, and Range

The Model 3 lineup encompasses three trims: base, Long Range, and Performance, each escalating in power and performance. The base Model 3 RWD accelerates from 0 to 97 km/h in 5.8 seconds, maxing out at 140 mph. The Long Range variant trims the 0-97 km/h time to 4.2 seconds and elevates top speed to 233 km/h. The Performance Model 3 excels, reaching 97 km/h in a mere 3.1 seconds and topping at 260 km/h.

On the range front, the Model 3 RWD offers an EPA-estimated 438 km, extending to an impressive 536 km for the Long Range variant. The Performance model maintains a respectable 507-km range. The Model Y's base AWD version showcases a solid 449-km range, while the Long Range trim shines with 531 km. Opting for the Performance variant results in a 488-km range.

Tesla's Arrival in Malaysia

The anticipation surrounding Tesla's entry into the Malaysian market culminated in an event at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, heralding the launch of the Tesla Model Y. This mid-sized SUV introduces three specification options, tailoring to diverse consumer preferences.

The three variants available in Malaysia are:

  • Tesla Model Y Standard Range RWD – RM199,000

  • Tesla Model Y Long Range AWD – RM246,000

  • Tesla Model Y Performance AWD – RM288,000

All models come with impressive warranties: the Standard Range RWD features an eight-year/160,000 km battery and drive unit warranty, while the Long Range AWD and Performance AWD boast an eight-year/192,000 km warranty, whichever comes first.

Customers can also opt for additional features, including paint color choices, interior upgrades, wheel enhancements, Enhanced Autopilot, and Full Self Driving capabilities.

Performance and Features: A Closer Look

The entry-level Model Y Standard Range RWD employs a single rear motor powered by a LFP battery. With a range of 455 km (WLTP cycle), it achieves 0-100 km/h in 6.9 seconds.

Moving up the ladder, the Model Y Long Range AWD integrates two motors, presenting a NMC battery for up to 533 km (WLTP) of range. This version accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.0 seconds.

At the zenith of the lineup, the Performance AWD Model Y—equipped with a NMC battery—balances performance and range, delivering up to 514 km (WLTP) while accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in a mere 3.7 seconds.


​Model 3

Model Y

​Pricing and features



Space - Boot



​Space - Frunk



​Comfort and space



On the Road






Overall Scaore



Interior Comfort and Convenience

Across all variants, the Model Y provides a harmonious blend of features. A 15-inch central touchscreen, panoramic glass roof, premium audio system, adjustable seats, heated features, and a spacious storage capacity define the Model Y's interior offerings.

In terms of colors, buyers can select from a range including Solid Black, Pearl White Multi-Coat, Midnight Silver Metallic, Deep Blue Metallic, and Red Multi-Coat.

Malaysia Tesla Model 3 Deep Blue Metallic dashboard SRawlings Interior
Malaysia Tesla Model 3 Dashboard SRawlings Interior

Tesla Model 3 front seating
Tesla Model 3 front seating

Tesla Model Y Interior
Tesla Model Y Interior

The Model Y: A New Era in Tesla's Lineup

In the ever-evolving landscape of electric vehicles, Tesla continues to make waves with its innovative offerings. While not quite reaching the iconic status of the Beatles or surpassing divine figures, the Model Y crossover is undeniably shaping up to be a monumental contender, garnering significant attention in comparison to Tesla's well-received Model 3 sedan. The intrigue surrounding the Model Y goes beyond its sheer popularity; it boasts a larger stature, both captivating and distinct in various dimensions.

Resonating Demand: Unveiling the Appeal of the Model Y

The resounding success of the Model Y is underscored by the influx of orders flooding in since its introduction to the Australian market. Within an astonishingly brief span of time, Tesla managed to accumulate orders equivalent to a quarter's worth of production. As the dust settled, projected delivery times stretched into early 2023, a testament to the immense demand that has taken the automotive world by storm. Elon Musk, the visionary CEO of Tesla, has acknowledged this fervor and is steering the company toward expedited production of the right-hand-drive Model Y, solidifying predictions of its dominance, particularly in Malaysia, Australia, Japan, and Singapore.

An Encounter with the Model Y: A Glimpse into the Future

The allure of the Model Y crystalized during an engaging encounter on a recent Friday when I was granted the opportunity to immerse myself in its features. Evident at first glance was the vehicle's generous interior, providing ample room for passengers to embark and disembark with ease. The rear hatch, a gateway to a capacious cargo area, coupled with fold-flat back seats, ushered in a new era of simplicity for transporting goods or simply relishing moments within the vehicle's confines. The fusion of practicality and comfort was undeniable, encapsulating an inviting atmosphere.

Dimensions Redefined: Model Y vs. Model 3

Delving into the intricate details that separate the Model Y from its predecessor, the Model 3, reveals a myriad of distinctions that contribute to its unique appeal. Towering over the Model 3 by 181mm in height, the Model Y's commanding presence is evident, further accentuated by a difference in ground clearance (167mm vs. 140mm). Yet, the true divergence unfolds within the interior realm. A substantial 154mm increase in height ushers in a realm of augmented headroom, particularly in the rear, providing a spacious sanctuary for passengers.

A Comparative Analysis: Beyond Mere Measurements

The interplay of dimensions between the Model Y and Model 3 unveils intriguing insights, showcasing a meticulous design philosophy. While the Model Y stretches to 4,750mm in length compared to the Model 3's 4,694mm, the difference in wheelbase is marginal, with the former extending merely 10mm more to 2,890mm. This slight divergence translates to a slightly larger turning circle for the Model Y (12.1m vs. 11.8m). Width-wise, the Model Y proudly claims an additional 129mm, encompassing an expansive stance that embraces the road. Despite this, rear passengers' comfort remains comparable, with online reports suggesting similar rear seat widths for both vehicles, approximately 1,330mm.

Unveiling the Cargo Realm: Model Y's Hatch vs. Model 3's Boot

At the rear, a pivotal transformation unfolds as the Model Y's innovative hatch design diverges from the Model 3's conventional boot configuration. A voluminous cargo capacity of 853 liters eclipses the Model 3's 542 liters, amplifying storage possibilities even with the back seats upright. The flexibility of the Model Y shines when the rear seats are flattened, unveiling a capacious 1,925 liters of cargo space. With a heightened opening measuring 700mm taller, accessing the cargo area becomes an effortless endeavor, catering to diverse needs from leisurely activities to practical applications.

Highlights We Appreciate ✅

Model 3: Qualifies for advantageous state EV incentives, delivering satisfying performance that caters to enthusiastic drivers.

Aspects to Consider ❌

Model 3: Rear seating area falls short in terms of roominess and comfort compared to the Y's spacious rear, exhibits a slightly unsettled ride at low speeds, and could benefit from the inclusion of a head-up display, a feature also desirable in the Y.

​Model Y: Abundant interior space that enhances passenger comfort, substantial boot capacity, and maintains its status as a reasonably valuable choice.

​Model Y: Offers a bumpier and more audible ride experience, accompanied by a decrease in both driving range and performance, while the rear-view vision is somewhat limited.

In Conclusion

The Model Y is more than a mere extension of Tesla's acclaimed Model 3; it's a testament to the company's commitment to innovation and adaptability. Embracing a larger form factor, the Model Y resonates with a broader spectrum of consumers, seamlessly melding practicality with an inviting interior. As Tesla propels forward into the electric future, the Model Y stands as a symbol of evolution, captivating the automotive landscape with its unique blend of dimensions, design, and desirability.

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